Sessions introduces bill to penalize sanctuary cities, prevent illegal aliens from reentering the country
WASHINGTON — Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions introduced (R) with Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee chair Ron Johnson (R-WI) Thursday a bill seeking to close loopholes in the federal government’s enforcement of immigration law.
“There is never a reason to allow a dangerous criminal alien to enter, live, or remain in the United States,” said Sen. Sessions in a press release announcing the bill. “No parent should ever have to bury a child because we failed to keep violent criminals out of the country or failed to deport them once they were in the country. Protecting the lives of innocent Americans is one of the most basic duties of the federal government. Our goal should be to keep 100% of dangerous aliens out of the United States.”
The bill, dubbed the “Protecting American Lives Act” would require state and local jurisdictions to notify the federal government when a criminal alien is in their custody; withhold funds from any local jurisdiction that releases an alien after a federal detainer has been placed on them; and establish a 5-year minimum prison sentence for deported aliens who attempt to illegally re-enter the United States.
“There is no delicate balancing act here,” Sessions continued, “we need to remove potentially violent offenders before they hurt innocent families—before the irreversible occurs… This bill will make all communities safer.”
In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Sessions heard testimony from several Americans who have lost loved ones at the hands of illegal aliens who, they argue, should have been deported long before they were able to commit further crimes.
Among those who testified were Susan Oliver, the widow of sheriff’s deputy Danny Oliver who was killed by a twice-deported illegal alien, and Jim Steinle, the father of Kate Steinle who was murdered on a pier in San Francisco by an illegal alien who had been convicted of seven felonies but was released back onto the streets.
Mr. Steinle’s testimony was particularly heart-wrenching as he recalled the last moments he spent with his daughter just before she died in his arms.
We were walking arm in arm on Pier 14 In San Francisco, enjoying a wonderful day together. Suddenly a shot rang out, Kate fell, and looked at me and said “Help me, Dad.” Those are the last words I will ever hear from my daughter…
(Her) alleged murderer is an undocumented immigrant who has been convicted of seven felonies in the U.S. and already deported five times. Yet, in March of this year, he was released from jail and allowed to stay here freely because of legal loopholes…
It is unbelievable to see that so many innocent Americans have been killed by undocumented immigrant felons in recent years. In fact, we recently came across a statistic that says between 2010 and 2014, 121 unique criminal aliens who had an active deportation case at the time of release were subsequently charged with homicide related offenses.
Think about that — 121 times over the past 4 years the administration has released an illegal immigrant with prior criminal convictions that later went on to be charged with a murder when they should have been deported. That’s 1 every 12 days.
Sen. Sessions responded to the testimonies by lambasting the Obama Administration for focusing on “amnesty” rather than securing the border and enforcing existing immigration laws.
What the American people know and what the families of victims of violent crime know is that this Administration has consistently and steadfastly placed the goal of amnesty above the goal of public safety. Time and time and time again that has been the fact…
If this Administration spent one-tenth of the effort on enforcement and protecting people from crimes and punishing people who are criminals who violate our immigration laws, rather than on amnesty we’d be a lot safer today. Many of the people who have been injured, robbed, or killed by illegal aliens would be alive today. That’s just fact and everybody knows it.
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— Elizabeth BeShears (@LizEBeesh) January 21, 2015